Day 01+02: Johannesburg (South Africa)
Today we departed Fort Lauderdale on our domestic flight to Atlanta where we connected with our direct flight to Johannesburg, South Africa. Let the adventure begin!
We arrived into Johannesburg late this afternoon feeling surprisingly energized. We made it through customs quickly with the help of our Menzies assistant and checked into the City Lodge Hotel located right there at the airport. After freshening up we headed over the Emperor’s Palace for dinner. It’s a casino complex right next to the airport and not exactly the most authentic African experience but with it being just a few minutes drive from the airport and having variety of dining and shopping options it was actually a great way to stay awake and “going” and also find something to eat that suited both of us well. Lovely first night!
Day 03: Johannesburg-Skukuza-Sabi Sands
We woke up this morning and had a lovely breakfast at the City Lodge (great breakfast spread!) and then headed out in time to catch our flight to Skukuza. On arrival in Skukuza we were met by our tracker, Eckson and transferred to our first safari camp.
On arrival we were met by our camp staff with cool towels and a delicious welcome drink – ginger lemonade! We enjoyed a beautiful lunch in camp and then explored the gift shop and lounge areas until our afternoon game drive. We had a wonderful first game drive and saw leopard, giraffe, white rhino, lion and elephant with a tiny baby at dusk!
Day 04+05: Sabi Sands
We had two fabulous days of game viewing and exploring safari camps. We saw leopard 2 out of 3 days, plenty of elephant, zebra, multiple white rhinos, lions, water buffalo, wildebeest, terrapin, hippos, tons of birds and more. Sabi Sand lives up to the hype!
Day 06: Skukuza-Mpumalanga-Livingstone-Victoria Falls
Today we enjoyed a fabulous breakfast and then headed to Skukuza for our flight to Mpumalanga. The Skukuza airport is beautiful and was a lovely place to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee.
In Mpumalanga (Nelspruit) we connected with our flight to Livingstone, Zambia. On arrival in Zambia we passed through customs quickly and got our visas all in about 10minutes. We were met just in front of the airport by our driver who took us onwards to cross the border into Zimbabwe. At the border we continued on into Zimbabwe with our Zimbabwean driver.
This evening we had a fun dinner at the Boma with great company – a Victoria Falls local who is passionately involved in wildlife conservation. She had wonderful insight into the state of the wildlife/environment, the culture and history of the area and the way the two points of interest interact.
Day 07: Victoria Falls
Today we had a guided tour of the Falls with Cynthia & Precious! We were fortunate to end off the day with a sunset cruise on the Zambezi.
Day 08: Victoria Falls-Kasane-Okavango Delta
Today we headed to Kasane where we boarded our charter flight to the Okavango Delta. We flew from Kasane to a small airstrip where we then boarded a helicopter that took us directly to our camp. The helicopter ride into the Delta was hands down one of (if not THE) most incredible experience a person could have.
On arrival in camp we were greeted with a beautiful welcome song, cool towels, refreshing drinks and of course, another fabulous African meal. Later in the afternoon we headed out onto our first game drive.
Day 09+10: Okavango Delta
Our days were filled with more fabulous game viewing and soaking up all that the Delta has to offer. We saw multiple herds of elephant, loads of beautiful birds, giraffe, wildebeest, antelope, impala and so much more. But it was the female cats that really put on some fabulous shows for us: We spotted two beautiful female leopards – one which was pregnant and surveying the area for a place to give birth within the next week or so.
Day 11: Okavango Delta-Maun-Johannesburg-Atlanta
Today was a sad goodbye – two more days would have really been great but nonetheless it was time to head home. Once again we boarded our helicopter then connected with a flight to Maun. A sad but stunning departure!
We spent about an hour in Maun before continuing on our flight to Johannesburg. In Johannesburg we enjoyed doing some last minute shopping for friends and family (they have some surprisingly great shopping right there in the airport) and relaxed in the Bidvest lounge before boarding our direct flight to home!